Romney holds big lead in Nevada

Mitt Romney leads the next closest GOP presidential candidate by 25 points in Nevada, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey.

Romney is at 50 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich at 25 percent, Ron Paul at 15 percent and Rick Santorum at 8 percent.

The former Massachusetts governor won the Silver State by 40 percent in the 2008 GOP primary. Nevada has a large Mormon population, and Romney leads among that group 78 percent to 14.

However, the PPP survey also found that Romney has a double-digit lead over Gingrich among voters identified as "very conservative" — a bloc Romney has so far had trouble rallying to his camp.

The Nevada caucuses on Saturday will be the first contest since Romney’s overwhelming victory in last week’s Florida primary.

Paul, whose strategy is to collect as many delegates as possible before the convention, is the only candidate to focus a significant amount of resources in Nevada, even going after the Mormon vote to some extent.

The caucus-style elections cater to Paul’s strength of turning out his fervent base of supporters, and a strong second-place finish could go a long way to building momentum for the Texas representative in the other smaller states that will caucus in February.

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